It seems that in my twenty odd years of chasing the ultimate listening experience, the chase of the elusive perfect speaker positioning would never end. I upgraded or changed a component regularly in hopes of capturing the magic, the magic of the speakers disappearing. And in all of my experience, the positioning, this one change has consistently provided the greatest difference audio wise.
I like many others always stuck to the golden triangle ration for this was THE rule and every magazine or forum and even HiFi stores recommended the use of this formula. The idea of an ultimate placement was the end game position, but I surmised to be a myth, a process that I believed as audio con artistry.
Was it Voo doo, Black magic or a Dark Art?
I had tried so many different placements and none were any better than the original golden triangle ratio, all the new recommend positioning idea’s had ultimately failed in my experience. So the idea was planted in my head that I would never find the perfect placement… or maybe I would spend another 20 years searching and experimenting with the idea of never being 100% happy.
Why was it so bloody hard to make my speakers disappear in the room and only hear the instruments and not the box (speaker)
Then one day I was fortunate as close friend of mine suggested a positioning idea, he had read and scoured the internet for years and found what he thought to be the ultimate position, lol yeah yeah have heard that before!
“No seriously I have nailed it”
I need to come over to your house and we need to rearrange your speakers. “Are you nuts” was my answer. Esp bearing in mind my speakers weigh nearly 100 kilograms they are not easy to move.
I finally caved in, OK OK! So he turned up and after literally 6 hours of setting up and lots of sweat & tears, we sat down for the first listen.
WOW… have we cracked it?
Sitting there listening to my system, immediately a huge sense of overwhelming emotion came over me, and I was just trying to take it all in. I listened to some of my favorite pieces of music. It made no difference in what I chose, it all was absolutely fantastic. It truly was as if I was hearing some of the tracks for the first time. The positioning has an uncanny ability to make the speakers truly vanish in the room.
Finally my system had arrived!
I had a huge sense of relief, and bearing in mind I have been chasing this elusive unicorn, gold egg, rainbow for over twenty years! You need to understand this system requires trial and error within the initial setting up, learning process, but once you understand how it works its then very straight forward.
Here at Rapallo, we have been using the system for over a year now and it doesn’t matter what speakers they are or what the room shape is there is always a placement that works. You need to understand that the speaker position and placement together make up the most critical component that determines how your system is going to sound.
There are approx 15 steps in the setup … so you need some time. The basis is that the speakers are meant to breathe and move in unison with the room and seek balanced pressurization between and around the speakers so they work together as if they were joined as one. It gives us the opportunity to achieve proper focus, tonal balance and sound-stage size and dimension through proper speaker spacing, room placement and speaker angle. However, the benefits of the properly positioned speaker’s process far exceed what is mentioned above.
In every proper installation of SSP we experience superior degrees of macro and micro dynamics. The pulse of the music sounds more deliberate. We experience a vertical placement of voices not previously experienced.
You are no longer required to keep our head in one spot because the method locks the speakers together sonic-ally.
To Have or Not Have Subwoofers?
There’s no doubt that adding subwoofers benefits the sound. Subwoofers increase the overall presentation of the sound and by using subwoofers that incorporate a high level speaker input, such as a SVS, Klipsch or REL subwoofers with their speaker terminals connectors or any subwoofer manufacturer that has speaker terminal inputs on it will improve a system beyond just adding more bass.
Since the signal will now be coming from your amplifier’s speaker outputs, the ability to seamlessly blend the subwoofer to the main speakers is greatly improved.
That being said, the real magic comes from this blending, is that it enhances dimensionality. Vastly improved depth, width, height and ambient recovery are the real benefits. This is not about more bass, but about increasing the soundstage. The SSP process has an in-depth process to properly integrate a subwoofer’s bass system with your main speakers.
We can’t tell you how many systems we’ve heard in rooms with no treatment for controlling the effects from hard surfaces such as bare concrete or wooden walls, hardwood or tiled floors, or glass coffee tables that sit between the listener and the speakers. All of these have adverse effects on our ability to create a convincing soundstage with our systems.
We are instantly realizing unwanted early reflections and cancellations as well as smeared images of our precious soundwave by bouncing them off of a variety of surfaces. So make sure you look to soften these surfaces with rugs, bookshelves or acoustic treatment. While the SSP process does address some of the issue, the fact remains that hard surfaces create unwanted reflections.